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At least 21 dead amid severe storms that struck multiple states

Hundreds of others were injured, and homes and buildings were left completely destroyed.
Piles of debris and rubble from buildings in Arkansas after deadly storms hit the state.
Posted at 8:42 AM, May 27, 2024

At least 22 people have been killed and hundreds have been injured across the central part of the country amid severe storms that spawned tornadoes.

Some of the most severe weather hit Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. There were seven deaths reported in Cook County, Texas, near the Oklahoma border, including two children, ages 5 and 2.

A tornado in Cook County Saturday left behind widespread destruction, with homes completely obliterated. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott added several more counties to an April disaster declaration, which was also the result of severe storms and flooding.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said five people had died in the state, including a man who died of a heart attack while clearing fallen trees.

Eight people have died in Arkansas and two people have died in Oklahoma.

A tornado struck Charleston, Kentucky, on Sunday. Officials said it touched down and remained on the ground for 40 miles.

The town lost power and water service and is now digging out downed trees.

As of Monday evening more than 200,000 people across the Southern and Eastern U.S. remained without power.

John Feary, city manager of Claremore, Oklahoma, said he’s working on a plan to get the city back up and running.

“We have got crews all over town working diligently to clear roads, clear trees, but we’re kind of hitting a small pause on that so we can get into the areas that we know were hit the worst,” Feary said. “We do have significant damage. We have total loss structures.”

In Arkansas, tornadoes left a trail of destruction behind, including scattered debris, mangled trees and damaged businesses.

Storms are also causing disruptions for people traveling by air on the busy Memorial Day holiday. On Monday more than 500 U.S. flights were canceled and more than 7,700 flights were delayed.

According to the Storm Prediction Center, severe storms from the lingering system were still possible from areas of the Northeast and across the mid-Atlantic on Monday night.

The National Weather Service issued tornado watches on Monday afternoon for the District of Columbia, central and eastern Maryland, central and eastern North Carolina and eastern and northern Virginia; effective through 11 p.m. Eastern time.

A severe thunderstorm watch was in effect for southeast Alabama, central and southern Georgia and southern South Carolina, effective until 10 p.m. Eastern time.

In Texas, more storms were forecast to develop through Monday night that could bring new hail and strong winds.